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21 May 2007, 11:12 am
Barking Mad, Atlantica Racing, Atalanta II And LibertineTake Victory
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Rolex Capri Sailing Week 2007
Capri, Italy

The fourth and final day of the Rolex Capri Sailing Week, organized by the Yacht Club Capri in collaboration with the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda with Rolex as title sponsor, saw the competing fleet set out accompanied by bright sunshine and a 5 to 6 knot breeze from approximately 250°.
The Race Committee set a windward-leeward course of approximately 8 nautical miles for the Farr 40 and Swan 45 divisions while the Mini Maxi and Comet divisions also sailed approximately 8 nautical miles around the marks positioned in the Gulf of Naples.

In the Farr 40 fleet Jim RICHARDSON's (USA) Barking Mad, overall leader since day two, won the series by a clear margin over Massimo Stefano LEPORATI's (ITA) Kismet and Massimo MEZZAROMA's (ITA) Nerone.

The 16 competing boats completed one windward-leeward race on Saturday, bringing them to a total of seven regattas for the event. Several of the former America's Cup tacticians competing in this division showed their worth today as Finland's Sirgusawa, owned by Olli-Pekka LUMIJARVI (FIN) and with Dee SMITH (USA) calling tactics, took their first victory of the series ahead of Marco RODOLFI's (ITA) TWT with tactician Tiziano NAVA (ITA). Alessandro BARNABA's (ITA) Fiamma, with Tommaso CHIEFFI (ITA) calling tactics, took third place.

RICHARDSON Delighted

Two-time Farr 40 World Champion (1998, 2004) RICHARDSON was delighted with his victory, 'The week's racing went terrific for us. We had come off of a couple of bad results back in the winter series in the United States, so to come here and do well was a bit of redemption. After the first day we were in second and then after that we got into the lead and we stayed there so I think we sailed very well. We sailed conservatively and we didn't take a lot of risks.'

Commenting on his relatively new team and plans for the season, 'We have the America's Cup going on and there are all sorts of other distractions and it's difficult to get the same people all the time so we had a lot of new people on the boat this time. We had Bouwe BEKKING [(NED)], I've only sailed with him a few times but he's a terrific sailor and he's a wonderful, wonderful person to boot - he's going to be in Porto Cervo with me as well.'

The Rolex Capri Sailing Week represents the first leg of the Farr 40 European circuit and, along with Barking Mad, most of this fleet will be continuing on to Porto Cervo for the second leg, the Rolex Settimana delle Bocche from 4-9 June.

The final outcome of the series for the Swan 45 division was decided in Saturday's race with Carlo PERRONE's (ITA) Atlantica Racing building on Friday's fine lead to take overall victory. Dick WEISMANN's (USA) Vixen took second place while Paolo SCERNI's (ITA) Kora 3 came in third.

Swan 45 Showdown

This division had everything to play for as the top three competitors were separated by just one point going into Saturday's race. Charles SWINGLAND's (GBR) Piper at the Gates of Dawn took first place ahead of Danilo SALSI's (ITA) DSK Comifin and USA entry Vixen.

'It has been a good sailing week concluded with an overall victory,' commented winning owner PERRONE. 'I am very happy about our performance as we have participated in every edition of the Rolex Capri Sailing Week in the Swan 45 division and today we celebrate our first victory. We can see today how the class is growing fast and the level of competition is becoming more professional. Fifteen boats participated in this edition which represents a significant proportion of the Class worldwide. We are now looking forward to the World Championships in Cowes.'

Overall victory in the Mini Maxi division went to Massimo VIOLATI's (ITA) Ops 5 over Carlo Puri NEGRI's (ITA) Atalanta II and Antonello MORINO's (ITA) Sei Tu 2 respectively.

NEGRI's Atalanta II dominated once again in Saturday's regatta bringing the Italian team to a total of four consecutive firsts. Eight points gained after disqualification in the first race of the series, however, meant that VIOLATI's second place on the final day was sufficient to secure an overall win. Sei Tu 2 came in third on corrected time in Saturday's regatta and in the overall classification.

Libertine Top Comet

Maurizio BISCARDI's (ITA) Libertine claimed first place in the Comet division over last year's division winner Nur, owned by Guido MORISCO (ITA). Alberto FRANCHELLA's (ITA) Aria TX Active, with a crew composed of members of the Italian Airforce, took third.

Saturday's race saw Aria TX active take their first win of the series on corrected time. Libertine came in second and Nur third.

At the closing Prizegiving Ceremony, held in Marina Grande, the winners of each division were awarded with Rolex Trophies and a Rolex Submariner Timepiece. The Giorgio Natale Special Trophy for the best classified YCC or YCCS member was awarded to Massimo Violati.

The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda's 2007 Season, in this their 40th anniversary year, continues with the Pantaenius Grand Soleil Cup (30 May-2 June) and the Rolex Settimana delle Bocche which is valid as Farr 40 European Championship (4-9 June).

Jill Campbell (As Amended By ISAF). Image, The Farr 40 start:© Kurt Arrigo/ROLEX
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